The sad state of affairs of the opposition
Election fever is well and truly with us as the country’s 15 registered political parties jostle for the electorate’s attention with their manifestos, and long and winding speeches.
Come November, Namibia will once again show her African brothers and sisters that it is not that difficult to pass on the leadership baton as the country goes to the polls to choose our third president in 24 years, an achievement that many other African countries can only dream of.
It is a given, at least to the right thinking members of our society, that Hage Geingob will be our next president if one only looks at the other likely candidates for the country’s top job.
Swapo has been blessed to have a weak opposition to its leadership so the party is guaranteed to lead the country for the foreseeable future.
In every normal functioning democracy, you need a strong opposition party to keep the excesses of the ruling party in check. Sadly for Namibia, our opposition parties seem to get weaker and weaker every year.
It goes without saying that over the past few weeks I have heard or read many stories of people who say that they are not going to vote in the upcoming elections because they are disappointed with Swapo’s rule. What caught my attention is the fact that these people would rather stay away from the polls than vote for an alternative party.
This is a serious indictment of the opposition as no one really takes them seriously apart from those few who probably vote along tribal lines.
But who can blame the electorate given the circus that we have seen recently from the former official opposition party, the DTA.
The party’s version of the Night of the Long Knives went terribly wrong and it makes people question, and rightly so, the leadership of McHenry Venaani.
If party faithfuls had hoped that the youthful Venaani would take them to the promised land, they are left disappointed with the manner in which their newly-elected president fumbled the recalling of former party president Katuutire Kaura from Parliament.
How can a man with ambitions to lead this country fail to deal with such a simple issue like the recall of Kaura from Parliament and claim that he was misled by his lawyer about the court procedures when the party was taken to court by Kaura?
This can only mean one thing, Venaani slept on the job and he cannot be trusted with the country’s leadership. We have too many comrades sleeping on the job, and the last thing we need is another people’s champion who is going to sleep on the job as well.
Things are not looking any brighter for the current official opposition party, the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP).
Once seen as a serious threat to Swapo’s uninterrupted rule since independence, the RDP is slowly losing relevance and it risks becoming just another party registered with the Electoral Commission of Namibia.
For all intents and purposes, RDP is a now a ghost of its former self and I reckon the party will be lucky to retain half of its nine seats in Parliament come November. RDP president Hidipo Hamutenya is a man of many battles and his revolutionary credentials are well known, but at 74 years, age seems to have caught up with this national hero.
You feel sorry for him when you see him struggle to walk to Parliament. In all fairness, Hidipo like many of our national leaders, should retire from active politics and maybe concentrate on his memoirs, or just be a figure head for his younger followers.
The other political parties are just but a comedy, a boring one for that matter. We have people that have made it their favourite pass time to form political parties without really putting too much thought into what they are doing. Some like the one man band better known as the National Youth Party don’t even have the energy and the brains to come up with their own party logo. The best this one man political party could do is steal Swapo’s colours and make it his own. Surely, how can we trust comedians like Victor Angula to lead this great nation?
Never has a country’s presidency been given so easily on a silver platter than that of Comrade Hage, all thanks to our weak opposition political parties.